Sisters in Blue
Nogar, Anna M. and Enrique R. Lamadrid. Amy Córdova, illus. (2017). Sisters in Blue: Sor María de Ágreda Comes to New Mexico / Hermanas de azul: Sor María de Ágreda viene a Nuevo Mexico. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press.
Children's Bilingual, Historical Fiction.
This is a story of two young women, one Spanish and one Puebloan, that meet across space and time. New Mexico's Lady in Blue, Sor María de Jesús de Ágreda, was a Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer. She's known for reports of bilocation between Spain and New Mexico, as well as other colonies in New Spain.
Sor María de Jesús wrote 14 books, including a series of revelations about the life of the Virgin Mary. In popular culture since the 17th century, she has been dubbed the Lady in Blue and the Blue Nun, after the color of her order's habit.
In this book, the authors have created a fictional encounter between a Puebloan woman, Paf Sheuri (Blue Flower) and Sor María de Jesús that occurs during one of Sor María de Jesús' spiritual journeys. Nogar also includes an essay at the conclusion, "Cultivating Legend and Connecting Places".
While I found this book interesting, I also found it hard to read in some areas. I enjoyed learning more about Sor María de Jesús. Connecting her story to the fictional story of Paf Sheuri is an imaginative way to weave two histories together, especially considering the reports of Sor María de Jesús' bilocations. The hard part for me was that the authors worked hard to get a lot of history and culture, both of Sor María de Jesús and Spain and Puebloan/Northern New Mexico, into a "short" story, that there was so much to absorb on top of the overarching story. The story, to me, became a side note to the rest of the information.
Review by Cassandra E. Osterloh, NHCC Librarian
Book available at the NHCC Library:
YA PZ73 .N664 2017